Another unexpected viewing, this one everyone actually seemed in the mood for, and asked for personally from my father. Alas, this one was less than ideal. The good parts of this one were few and far between, and everything else was just a bit awkward, really. Right off the bat, I'll say that the most interesting parts of this episode was the Zuko/Iroh stuff. Some of the scenes had a very Robin Hood-like feel to them, and I think they can see for themselves that Zuko is getting a lot more character development then the others, as well as to why he and Iroh are my favorite characters. I kinda wish this episode was more about them than the Gaang.
Not to say that Team Avatar's scenes contained no jokes that worked; The explanation of the Just-Us system was amusing de to my parents experience with lawyers, ad I think they actually laughed the most at the fact that Aang could get out of his stocks that whole time. The Sherlock Holmes reference from Sokka worked, but for the most part, his role in this episode was kind of annoying, always insisting HE resolve the mystery, and whining about his lost boomerang, you know? However, I'd say the reason a lot of jokes fell flat mostly because not much attention was paid to "The Warrors of Kyoshi". The foaming mouth guy joke went entirely over their heads, sadly. Was it entertaining? Sure, But compared to the life advice of Iroh, can anything seem as good by comparison?
My original plan was the skip this one, actually. I thought it wasn't really important and wasn't needed so that "The Swamp" could lead directly into "The Blind Bandit", but I decided to let it be seen for 3 reasons. Zuko's choice to leave Iroh, the mention of the Kyoshi Warriors, and delving more into this world's history and Aang's past lives. Had this episode done what, say, "The King of Omashu" had done and just shown the Gaang goofing around, I probably would have skipped it. But this isn't season one we're talking about here. Book 2 is just a better story than Book 1, and the next 15 episodes are about to prove that.
Mom and Dad are surprising me. They actually remembered the Kyoshi Warriors, Dad referring to them as 'the girls that kicked Sokka's ass'. Mom especially usually has trouble following large storylines like The Lord of the Rings, or Pirates of the Caribbean, and Dad forgets because he doesn't care a lot of the time. The fact they remembered Suki and the others, not to mention Toph's 'ghost' in the last episode, show's a genuine interest I really wasn't expecting. They still need reminders every once in a while to remember names, but that's to be expected. I think they are really enjoying the parts with Iroh and Zuko. Their characters arguably get the most development in the show, and I do honestly think they are really interested in seeing where their story ends up.
As you can gather, this isn't the best episode ever, and I hope they find the next one more enjoyable as a whole. The series is just about to hit it's peak, I think, with the introduction of Toph and the darker tone it takes from this point onwards. We're getting through kind of an awkward transitional period from kid's show to excellent piece of art, and I'm extremely glad everyone is still interested enough to finish what we started. They have no idea what awaits them next time.
Aurora hasn't had the chance to watch anything yet, sadly, but she plans to get around to it asap. Our next viewing should be very interesting indeed, as we meet Toph for the first time, and get our worlds rocked by none other than the real start of the show, The Boulder. Later.